The injury-plagued Celtics won't repeat as champions because of Kevin Garnett's knee issues. There is no way the Celtics can beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers, especially in Cleveland. With a healthy Andrew Bynum, the Celtics can't knock off Kobe Bryant and the Lakers again. The Big Three are getting old. Boston can't rely on home-court advantage this time around.
The Celtics have heard all those theories and more from skeptics who believe there will not be an 18th championship banner being raised at TD Banknorth Garden this year. But through all the injuries, criticism, and questions, the Celtics remain extremely confident, for several reasons.
"We don't mind flying under the radar," said Paul Pierce. "When you win a championship, you acquire a certain swagger, a certain confidence that you can beat anybody regardless of who you have on the court."
Said coach Doc Rivers, "They counted us out last year, too. Who cares? As long as the guys in the locker room and the fans believe, we could care less about anybody else."
So, do you believe?